Monday, July 30, 2007

We'd like to keep the lights on for you, but.....

Lots of coal power plant projects are being cancelled. This is kind of disturbing. We have been kicking this around at work for a while, as we have been aware that there is a huge new ground swell of opinion against coal fired power. But we also havea big concern that there is almost no infrastructre of wind or solar generation. What to do? As we talk about it, there is not a person that I have talked to at our plant that doesn't believe that it won't be long before we see power outages. There really isn't any other options if electrical demand continues to grow as it has in the past. They can't just build these plants in an afternoon. It looks like our planned expansion will not be happening, although 'taps' hasn't been played yet it would take a major change in California polictics and a change in California state law to allow our expansion to take place.

As you can see in the article, there are many, many more proposed projects that will not be built. Nuke plants take about 15 years from proposal to permit, and maybe another 5 years for construction. Natural gas plants will provide EXPENSIVE power. Oil isn't an option. You do the math.

So, strange as it may be to think of, unless you like using your storm candles, you might want to make some plans for supplemental power. A generator will provide some stop gap power, PV panels will become expensive when everyone else figures this out. I haven't figured this out yet, but really don't want to shower in cold water in the dark.

I realize that most people would find a comparison between Africa and the U.S. not to have much validity, but the point is that Africa's electrical woes have roots in poor planning, little modernization or investment and a good deal of bad luck. But poor planning, with no investment tends to create bad luck as well.

5 comments:

AnnieOfBlueGables said...

::Annie hides under the coffee table::

The Nurse said...

yeah.. i'm with mom... i really don't know what to think about that. maybe we really should get some extra something... that totally stinks.
i am sorry to say that i'm mostly left scratching my head on what to do.

Sailor said...

Hi Dear Nurse,
I am with you on this. It is just something to watch right now, and maybe to plan for.

I don't know if this is a ploy to force people to push solar/wind projects or what. I would feel better about the whole situation if there were either projects being planned for large scale renewables, or if there were large tax credits available for us to supply our own systems. But is doesn't seem like they actually understand what they are doing. Sort of like the joke: "When I die, I want to die in my sleep like my grandpa, not screaming in terror like all the passengers in his car....."

Mike said...

Liked the quote...hated the quote! I don't want to be one of those screaming folks.

pixiestylist said...

i'm with mom and the nurse, even though i couldnt read the africa page because it required a login. i'm definitely scratching my head though.